Chinese city proposes ban on residents eating dog meat following coronavirus outbreak

Ted Hennessey
Congressman Vern Buchanan said he hoped countries such as China and South Korea would follow the United States' lead after his bill to stop the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption was passed: AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese city has proposed a new law to ban residents from eating dog meat.

Lawmakers in Shenzhen have drafted the legislation in a bid to improve food safety following the coronavirus outbreak.

If passed, the ban would be the first of its kind in the country.

A list of possible banned meats, published to the city's government website, included dogs, cats, snakes, frogs, bats and turtles.

Officials are waiting for a response from locals about the proposals before bringing them into law, it is understood.

The drafted legislation has been described as the "universal civilisation requirement for a modern society" by officials.

Animal rights activists protest against eating dog meat (AFP/Getty Images)

One spokesperson said it was necessary for a list to be created to make it easier for residents to know which meats are banned.

They said: "There are so many animal species in nature. In our country alone, there are more than 2,000 kinds of protected wild animal species.

"If the local authority is to produce a list of the wild animals that cannot be eaten, it will be too lengthy and cannot answer the question exactly what animals can be eaten."

It comes after a temporary nationwide ban on the consumption of wild animals was enforced this week.

The list of banned animals included peacocks, pangolin and badgers.

In China alone, the Covid-19 outbreak has claimed at least 2,715 lives and infected more than 78,000 people.